Life expectancy variations revealed

 

English people will live longer than their Scottish neighbours, newly published statistics show.

The average English man will live to the age of 78.6 while male Scots will live to 75.9.

Similarly, Scottish girls born between 2008 and 2010 have a life expectancy of 80.4 years, which is 2.2 fewer years than English girls, who are expected to live to 82.6.

In Wales and Northern Ireland, the average life expectancy for men is 77 while women are expected to live to be 81.

The figures, published by the National Audit Office (NAO), were collated to highlight the variety of healthcare provided across the UK.

The research suggests that in 2009, GPs in Wales and Northern Ireland each had 1,538 patients while those in Scotland cared for 1,250 patients each.

GPs in England had 1,428 patients each and were paid almost £20,000 more than their Scottish colleagues.

English general practitioners had an average taxable income of £109,400 while Scottish GPs were paid £89,500.

Welsh GPs earned an average of £93,500, while those from Northern Ireland were paid £91,400.

In the last decade, spending on health services has more than doubled from £53 billion in 2000/01 to £120 billion in 2010/11.

The NAO said spending had increased consistently across all four nations but England spent the least money per person on health services in 2010 to 2011.

The report found that accident and emergency cases had increased in hospitals in all four nations.

In England, the number of patients in need of urgent care increased by 28% in the last decade, in Wales it increased by 3%.

Across the UK, there had been significant improvements in levels of hospital bugs, authors of the report said.

In the four years to 2010/11, rates of the MRSA infection dropped by a third or more in all nations.

In England, the number of cases dropped by 67%, Scotland by 62%, in Northern Ireland by 43% and in Wales by 38%.

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said: "We publish this report at a time when the NHS across the UK is under increasing pressure to use resources more efficiently.

"Funding is tighter while the demand for healthcare continues to grow as a result of an ageing population and advances in drugs and technology.

"We consider that there would be value in the health departments in the four nations carrying out further work to investigate the variations in performance and identify how they can learn from each other to achieve better value for money for taxpayers and better care for patients."

A spokesman for the Welsh Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths, said: "The report clearly shows that Wales spent more than England on health services per head of population. (In 2010/11 £2,017 in Wales, £1,900 in England).

"In addition, with a rapidly deteriorating situation in the NHS in England - due to a Tory reorganisation nobody wants - it's little wonder the BMA have said they have no confidence in Andrew Lansley and have called on him to resign. Unlike under the Tories in England, the NHS in Wales will remain founded in Bevan's principles of care provided free at the point of need.

"The fact is, due to UK Government austerity measures, the Welsh budget is being savagely cut by 12% between 2010/11 and 2014/15 - around £1.8bn. Despite this, we invest 43% of our budget in the NHS.

"NHS bodies in Wales broke even last year. In England, 22 of them are on the verge of financial collapse - despite the Tories' false promise of ring-fencing spending. This has proven to have been a complete myth.

"The rate of healthcare associated infections in Wales is lower than in the rest of the UK. However, we're not complacent, and are determined to reduce this further."

PA

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